GREEN BAY - Wisconsin's U.S. Senate race between Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson is the most expensive in state history. Federal Election Commission reports show more than $40 million has been spent so far on the race with more to come.
Many of the campaign ads focus on tearing down the opponent rather than sticking to a candidate's agenda.
The race is an important one. It gives Republicans an opportunity to recapture a seat that has been in Democratic control for 24 years.
The Tammy vs. Tommy race has been characterized as the extreme liberal, Baldwin, taking on the conservative, Thompson.
Baldwin dismissed the ads that implied she was "too extreme for Wisconsin.”
"I think the label probably applies better to him than me," said Baldwin.
Early polls put the well-known former governor clearly as the candidate to beat, but the heavy run of political ads has the race just about dead even.
We asked Thompson who boasts high name recognition in the state if the closeness in the polls now was frustrating.
"Of course it's frustrating," admitted Thompson, but he was confident he would continue to move ahead in the polls as Election Day got closer.
The bulk of the negative campaign ads have been funded by outside groups, spending more than $25 million of the total $40 million in this race, with more on the way. And the tone isn't likely to change.
"Everybody says they hate negative ads but the reason why they're used in campaigns is because they are effective," said Mark Graul, political consultant that runs Arena Strategy Group. "People remember them; remember the messages in them much better than they do the positive ads."
Baldwin and Thompson respond to the negative ads and talk about their stance on the key issues in the race coming up tonight on FOX 11 News at Nine.
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